Are Believers Little Gods

John 10:34-36 records: “Jesus answered them, ‘Is it not written in your law, I said, You are gods? If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, You are blaspheming, because I said, I am the Son of God.’”

Jesus quoted Psalm 82:6 in John 10:34. Some sincere but misguided Christians have argued that in John 10:34, Jesus was teaching all believers are “little gods” because they are in Christ. But note in context, Jesus was talking to unbelievers who wanted to stone Him. He was not telling them they were “in Christ” or “little gods”.

Jesus was instead quoting Psalm 82:6 to prove that if Asaph in this verse and Moses in Exodus 21:6 and 22:8-9 called His delegated Mosaic Covenant judges “gods” or “elohim” in Hebrew without blaspheming, how could the Jews accuse Jesus of blaspheming when He said He was the “Son of God”?

Psalm 82:6 mentions people being children of the Most High. In its context in this Psalm, this verse refers to the judges of Israel at the time judging unjustly. These judges were adopted by God as His children under the Mosaic Covenant.

Psalm 82:6 says these judges are “gods”. In Hebrew, the word “gods” here is” elohim”. “Elohim” is used often in the Old Testament to mean the true God. But note in Exodus 21:6, 22:8 and 22:9 (twice), the word “judges” is actually “elohim” in Hebrew. In these verses, the Lord calls His human “judges” by the word “elohim” to signify these judges were acting as His delegated representatives when judging others. This is similar to how in Exodus 4:16 and 7:1-2, God says Moses would be like God or “Elohim” to Aaron and Pharaoh.

In their Hebrew lexicon, Brown, Driver and Briggs say “elohim” means “rulers, judges, either as divine representatives at sacred places or as reflecting divine majesty and power” in Exodus 21:6, 22:8, 22:9 and Psalm 82:6. [1] So Psalm 82:6 does not teach all humans are really gods. There is only one God (see Deuteronomy 4:35, 6:4, Isaiah 43:10-12, 44:6-8 and 45:5-7).

 


[1] Brown, Driver and Briggs, page 43.

 

 


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